I really don’t know how I contain myself now. Why I’m not screaming at the top of my lungs. I just fucking blogged about the need for government regulation and for government to step in and do something less than two weeks ago.

Since then two more people died because of another mine collapse and eleven people have lost their lives due to BP’s oil explosion. And not to mention the countless thousands of fish and wildlife that will die because of this oil rig explosion which could be worse than the Exxon Valdez.

Hypocrites. All those tea partiers preaching their “Drill Baby, Drill”… where are they now to help clean up this mess? Where are the Republicans who touted “Drill Baby, Drill”? Why aren’t they protesting in Arizona over the recent immigration law which allows government to get in your face if you “look illegal”? Or in Oklahoma where Republicans passed legislation to make a sonogram mandatory for getting an abortion which is clear government intervention? Or what about the entire Bush presidency?

The oil spill, the mining “accidents”, the hypocrites all make me sick.

I boycott Exxon because of Valdez and now looks like I’ll be boycotting BP.

This shit shouldn’t happen.

The Need For Government Regulation

As I stated in my previous blog post, the need for government regulation has become increasingly more important. After previous administrations, so much government regulation has been taken away or not enforced. The deregulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, toys from China, the coal mine incidents, the economic collapse, ENRON, deregulation of our finance, energy, communications, transportation, etc. Many times after the fact have we realized maybe there should have been something put in place or enforced so bad things don’t happen, like with the current recession.

What comes to mind most recently (besides the coal mine explosion) is what’s going on with Toyota. Just the other day Consumer Reports came out and said the Lexus GX is unsafe and should not be bought. Now Toyota has stopped sales of its Lexus. It takes an independent magazine by a union to do enough safety tests to realize that a vehicle is unsafe for the road? The NHTSA didn’t find it? Even the Prius gas pedal wasn’t found by our “government regulations”. WTF?

Everyone thinks government regulation is a bad thing, but they are put in place for a reason; to make our cars safe, to make where we work safe, to make our food and water safe, to make our buildings safe, etc. To ensure that we won’t get hurt physically or financially by companies, to protect us.

We need government regulation because without it, we will get hurt. It happens time and time again when regulation is taken away or not enforced. We need a go between of companies and people and the government is the only thing to do it right. To look out for the people because that’s who the government represents. Contrary to what the SCOTUS says, corporations are NOT people.

It can’t just be a “states rights” thing either. Prime example, look at all the influence the coal industry has in West Virginia. Massey kicked the unions out. The unions couldn’t even help with the rescue effort. Massey got away with operating an unsafe mine and 29 people lost their lives because of it.

I know all these “don’t tread on me” people claim differently but the government is supposed to have the best intentions for the American people. That’s its job.

Recent Mine Explosions

If the recent deaths in the West Virginia and China mines isn’t enough to make us switch to alternative energy, I don’t know what is.

China said by the end of the year 8,000 less efficient and less safe coal mines will be closed. Their mines are less safe because they don’t have the OSHA requirements that we do. However, the United States does face disasters in mines still as shown in recent and past events.

Alternative energy like wind and solar don’t nearly have the dangers that mining coal does (and oil drilling for that matter). Alternatives saves more lives and reduces climate change, which saves our planet.

If we do keep using coal (signs point to yes), we should most definately enact more restrictions on companies who mine. Massey Energy got fined $382,000 last year, according to the Washington Post, for safety violations, allowing coal dust to pile up, and not having sufficient fire gear. That shouldn’t happen in this country.

Back in 2007, I said the same thing with the collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine. There should have been more harsher regulations in place. I even blamed Bush for easing safety enforcements which could have prevented deaths in that incident (and, perhaps, the recent incident).

Quickie Quote From Bill Maher II

Bill Maher said something last week that was 100% true. Too long for twitter…

“You ever watch House or Gray’s Anatomy? It’s like ten or twelve doctors for just you. All they do is treat you and then they go home and fuck each other and think about you. That’s the fantasy.”

Makes a strong case for watching Nurse Jackie instead of House.

The Recent Passage Of HCR In 2010

Unfortunately I don’t have much time to write about this since work has been real busy. I just wanted to say a few things about the bill.

I don’t like the whole thing. I’m not in love with it. I don’t like a lot of stuff that’s in it. Having said that, I do believe it’s the best we can do right now and if I were a member of congress, I would have voted for it. I wanted more in the bill like a lot more regulation on insurance companies and a robust public option (let alone ANY public option). But like Kucinich and other progressives, I had to put those wants aside and realize this bill is the best we can do now.

People who won’t compromise get in the way of democracy. The entire Republican party basically refused to compromise. They couldn’t see the good things about the bill like no exclusions on preexisting conditions and adults can stay on their parents health care until 26. Even Bart Stupak wanted to vote no on the bill unless Obama issued an executive order for no funding on abortion (which that was assumed in the bill anyway… I guess Stupak just needed it underlined and in BOLD).

Stupak did compromise and he did vote for the bill (to which he does deserve a thank you). Republican’s couldn’t and I believe they’re on the wrong side of history yet again.

Now, what I’m scared of is people not knowing or realizing that this bill helped them, just like how some people don’t realize that Medicare is a government run program. I’m worried that those teabaggers will not realize that when they get sick, their insurance company can’t drop them like they used to before this bill.

I’m also worried that when (big IF) the Republicans regain power in 2012, they’ll get the credit for the bill when it takes effect in 2014 (kinda like Obama took credit for the new GI bill which Bush passed). I’m also worried that they won’t get the bad rep for NOT supporting it.

I do hope that progressives won’t give up on wanting a single payer universal health care system like the other first world countries. Nancy Pelosi declared HC solved. Progressives don’t think so. I just hope they don’t give up the fight. I know I won’t.

Enough ranting… I also wanted to point to a good resource about information about the bill: . It’s a bipartisan site with lots of good stuff.

Dennis Kucinich’s Vote For HCR

So Dennis Kucinich decided to change his mind and vote for the current HCR bill. He rode on Air Force One, had a talk with Obama and Pelosi and decided to switch. Ever since he’s been getting flack for it.

I don’t really think he deserves it. Bloggers have been bashing him, calling him a Washington Insider, etc. I know why he did it, and it could be the right thing to do. I totally agree with him, the bill is a tremendous give away to the insurance companies, but at least it’s something. If I were Kucinich, I’d probably do the same thing. You also have a lot of progressives that support the bill like Alan Grayson.

It’s by far not the right bill, but Kucinich has hope that it’ll be a start. He has hope that there will be other bills introduced that will make it better. Congress just doesn’t have the vote thanks to centrist and bought out Dems for it to be better right now.

I’d follow Kucinich anywhere. I have complete faith in him. I really wish he’d become more popular and have a shot at POTUS. I think he does the right thing, every time. He’s one of the few representatives that I actually trust.

I really hope he doesn’t have a good Democratic challenger in the primary. We need him and we need more people like him in Congress.

Elitist Songs

I’ve been wanting to blog about this topic for a while, but some songs just get on my nerves because they are so elitist. A few come to mind:

  • All American Rejects – Gives You Hell – So, should I be ashamed of working 9-5? Most people do. The fact that he gets to party all the time and wake up in the evening, I don’t think I could be jealous of that. And he’ll probably die young. Besides, if the guy DIDN’T miss the person who the song is about, he wouldn’t be singing it, would he?
  • Jay Z – Empire State Of Mind – Jay Z’s saying I couldn’t make it in New York. What does “make it” mean anyway? And you’re not the “new Sinatra”, Mister Z. I know a lot of people who don’t really like your music.
  • Pink – So What – Now this song really makes me angry. Who can actually sing it after they lose their husband? Not me, I’m not a rock star. And I don’t party every night like that light purple character.
  • Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good – All “Joe The Artist” sings about is his money and his fancy life in which he drives a Mazaratti and tears down hotel walls. Who does that?
  • Shawn Mullens – Lullaby – Really? We’re supposed to feel sorry for a rich girl who grew up getting everything she ever wanted? And who is currently a singer making bank? Really?
  • Chris Brown – Kiss Kiss – An eighteen year old with a Lambo… yeah, that’s realistic. He’s from a little town in Virginia. Damn, who are his parents?
  • Will Smith – Miami – Ah, yes, another case of a celebrity going on vacation 1,583 days a year. Must be nice.
  • John Mayer – No Such Thing – I guess super stars don’t need to know about the real world. Mister Mayer should get a real job and see what it’s like for the rest of us working class.

Quickie On A Chat At Lunch

Thought I’d share a joke we had at lunch the other day…

Dimitri was off on vacation last week, Patrick had said he emailed him some things. Dimitri asked what Patrick emailed him.

I said, “He emailed you ‘Did you get my email?’… Then Dimitri would say, ‘What email?’ ‘The email I wrote that said ‘did you get my email?””

Eh, typing it, it doesn’t sound as funny as when I said it during lunch. Fail.

Candi’s DNA Results

As a Christmas present, my sister got Brian and I a DNA test for Candi. The test is available at Canine It tells what kind of breed(s) make up your dog.

The results came back the other day and Candi turns out to have some Dachshund, Chow Chow, and German Shepherd in her. She has no primary or secondary breeds. She’s more than likely a very mixed dog.

Doing some research into the breeds they found (we all thought she was at least some Beagle, by the way), I compiled a list of traits from the three dogs they found in her.


  • Chases things with determination
  • Devotion & loyalty to owners
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Show above average intelligence
  • Clever, lively, & courageous
  • Challenges larger dogs
  • Does not like unfamiliar people, may growl & bark

Chow Chow

  • Extremely loyal
  • Curly tail
  • Prefer to watch for strangers by entrance

German Shepherd

  • Sheds all year long
  • Very smart
  • Willingness to learn
  • Loyal nature & bond well
  • Over protective of family & territory
  • Probably gets the bird on her head & colors

She’s just a puppy!

Random Thoughts 2/1/10

  • This one probably deserves a post in and of itself. Bri and I are looking to expand our family. We want to adopt another dog but we’re running into a lot of difficulties. We can’t adopt a puppy from a shelter because one of us needs to be stay at home. You’d think with the economy being bad and a lot of unwanted animals, they’d be lenient.
  • Bill Maher blogged if Democrats really wanted to pass health care, they should be against it. Makes sense and I agree. Republicans are the party of no and the opposite of everything the Democrats are for.
  • I’m almost done three of my 2010 Resolutions.
  • Re Big Love: If Bill would embrace the Progressive idea of Universal Health Care, he wouldn’t have to worry about his wives/children being dropped from his family coverage. But he’s running as a Republican (and Right Wing Christian) and we know their views.
  • I think the iPad is a joke and will fail regardless of Apple’s following. It doesn’t do anything new.
  • I REALLY hope the economy rebounds soon. I’m tired of it day after day and it’s really hurting me, even though I have a job, believe it or not.
  • I have a few money making ideas. I’m waiting for a few things in order to get started.
  • I’m REALLY scared for our country if we can’t get the recent Supreme Court decision undone. Alan Grayson is leading the charge in introducing two new bills to try to stop it, and an online petition. This issue should be bipartisan and Obama was correct in bashing the Justices in his State Of The Union.
  • Also, it’s a relief that Scott Roeder was convicted. It had me REALLY scared that in our country we might be crazy enough to let off a murderer.

A Murphy’s Law Day

I finally decided to blog about an instance of a day my coworker and I had a few weeks ago. It’s a day where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

Let me start out by saying, I’ve told this story to a few people, including my husband. As I was telling it each and every time, I even thought I was lying.

It started out, Dimitri decided to order lunch from one of our favorite lunch haunts, Kenny’s. I ordered over the phone in advance so we could just pick it up. Dimitri decided to grab their lunch deal there.

We went to Kenny’s around 12:00, lunch time. We parked where we usually park, in front of Kenny’s Sub Shop. We walked in to get our lunch. No line or anything. In the midths of paying for our food, the lady from the counter said “Uh oh, some body’s car is being towed”. It was Dimitri’s.

He ran out to tell the tow truck not to tow his car. I was still trying to pay for my food. The tow truck driver said to give him $50 in cash to drop it. Dimitri said he didn’t have it. The guy then said to go to the ATM around the corner.

Dimitri went back into Kenny’s and told me what he was doing. The guy, not to my knowledge, was still proceeding to tow the car. Dimitri was gone, maybe five minutes, getting money from the ATM. I was in Kenny’s, thinking the tow truck driver would keep his word and all would be okay. The tow truck driver then started to drive away. I started to run after him, trying to flag him down.

Dumbfounded, I called Dimitri. While he was coming back, I stopped two cops that were heading into Kenny’s. I asked if they saw anything wrong with the spot. There was no sign for handicap parking or anything. There was a sign a few spaces in front of Qdoba, but it didn’t label the spot we were parked in. The cops were totally on our side and said there was no reason anyone should have towed our car. We then decided to call the same tow place that was on the Qdoba sign, on the off chance it was them who towed it. They didn’t have record of Dimitri’s car. We then called the police. The two officers were nice enough to give us the number. The MoCo police said they’d come investigate.

We called the tow truck place again. We even had the cops on the phone telling them to bring the car back, that the space was a legitimate space to park. They said they didn’t have anyone that could tow our car back. Whatever. We had to go there.

I quickly ate my lunch before the cops showed up. I also called Mike to come get us, but the cops came there before Mike could. When they got there, they looked around and found a tiny sign as you go up the hill saying “Qdoba Parking Only”. NO sign or label on the space or the spaces around it. We had parked there 293 times before.

We asked the cops if they could give us a ride to the tow place. They were nice enough to agree but what a pickle. The cop didn’t know the area and we had to call the place several times for an address and directions. My GPS messed up and thought I was on a road I wasn’t… Yay, Verizon. After driving around a few times, passing the sub shop like three times, the cop finally found the place. A little crappy place that operated out of a trailer, of which had no steps. The gate was chained up with a pad lock. The fence looked like it was ready to fall over but at least the barbed wire at the top was intact.

The same dude who towed us walked out and said it would be $115 to get the car back. Dimitri said he said $50 then towed him away. The guy, total jerk, the very definition of a-hole, said he needed $115 to get the car back. Dimitri kept his cool and asked if there was an ATM around since they didn’t take credit cards. The guy said there was a credit union close and pointed us in that direction, and, for our hassle and his arrogance, he knocked off $15.

We then walked to the credit union. As luck would have it, the ATM was out of order. We asked people walking by if they knew of another one. We even stopped by a few little restaurants to see if they’d run a card and give us money, with no avail. Some people said in some government building a few blocks over. We went there, walked right in and were promptly stopped by security.

We then had to walk all the way to the main entrance and sign in, go through a medal detector, be patted down, and have a security guard personally walk us to the ATM. We finally got the money and headed back.

When we got back, the dude at the gate said it would be $115. Dimitri said the one dude before said $100. He had the dude get on the phone to the other dude. He finally agreed, $100. If not, we would have to walk all the way back to the ATM again, so at least that went okay.

They let us retrieve the car so we went back to work. The whole fiasco took two hours.

Ugh, anyway, at least nothing else went wrong that day.

Vacation Tweets – Las Vegas 1/14/10 – 1/20/10

Here’s the list of tweets from my Las Vegas vacation!

Wednesday January 13, 2010

  • Officially on #VACATION! 5:11 PM EST

Thursday January 14, 2010

  • Arrived in #Atlanta. Almost two hour layover. Weak. 8:48 AM EST
  • Had nothing but problems with #Delta so far. My flight is delayed. Leaving #Atlanta at 11:30 now. 10:16 AM EST
  • Flight delayed again. They don’t even have a plane for us. We’re to go to another gate, unknown yet. MASSIVE #DeltaFail! 11:12 AM EST
  • Finally boarding! Almost ready. #DeltaFail 1:20 PM EST
  • Idiots and their big bags. We’d be up in the air if it wasn’t for their cheap asses. #fail 1:34 PM EST
  • #Vegas trip update: We’re stuck in the plane, on the runway. There’s something wrong with the intercom system. Joy. #fail 2:39 PM EST
  • We have arrived! #Vegas 6:53 PM EST 3:53 PM PST
  • JAY LENO is here! Brian is getting tickets now! I can’t believe it! #jayleno #vegas 8:40 PM EST 5:40 PM PST

Friday January 15, 2010

  • This is #fail. It’s 6 AM here and I’m wide awake. 9:15 AM EST 6:15 AM PST
  • At #M&M World. Then #NYNY to grab a bite. 2:40 PM EST 11:40 AM PST
  • Seeing the #Titanic exhibit at the #Luxor. 4:52 PM EST 1:52 PM PST
  • Now at the Auto Collection at the Imperial Palace. Worried we might run out of things to do in #Vegas… Probably not. 7:42 PM EST 4:42 PM PST
  • Just had sushi at a Japanese steakhouse. Now waiting for the #volcano to errupt at the #Mirage. 9:47 PM EST 6:47 PM PST
  • Just saw the Pirates show at #TI (Treasure Island). Currently enjoying a tasty ice cream at #McDonalds. 10:50 PM EST 7:50 PM PST

Saturday January 16, 2010

  • Just took a bath. This hotel towel smells like coffee. Probably going to get breakfast now. 11:31 AM EST 8:31 AM PST
  • Ran into two #Ravens fans so far. Going to watch the games at the sports bar here. They have big screens. #GoRavens! 12:07 PM EST 9:07 AM PST
  • Sports bar at Circus Circus sucks. Have to find another one. 4:01 PM EST 1:01 PM PST
  • Kurt Warner is tough! #Cardinals 6:38 PM EST 3:38 PM PST
  • #WTF is that s**t call on Lewis??? Bull! 9:33 PM EST 6:33 PM PST
  • #Colts obviously have the refs on their side. #NFLFail 10:17 PM EST 7:17 PM PST

Sunday January 17, 2010

  • Is #Minnesota starting to self destruct? #Cowboys aren’t looking too good. 2:47 PM EST 11:47 AM PST
  • After all the #Cowboys did for the #Vikings, for them to just smear it in their faces is just cherlish. I lost some respect for #Favre. 4:02 PM EST 1:02 PM PST
  • Seriously, #Chargers? You need to win. You’re the only ones who know how to beat the #Colts! 7:18 PM EST 4:18 PM PST
  • Heading out to #Fremont Street! 8:04 PM EST 5:04 PM PST
  • Brian won $1.55 on a shot machine waiting for our table at Tony Romas. 8:39 PM EST 5:39 PM PST
  • Checking out a gift shop at Fremont Street and awaiting the show. 9:33 PM EST 6:33 PM PST
  • Finding some really cool glasses in souvenir shops… Too bad I don’t pay for my glasses. #vegas 9:44 PM EST 6:44 PM PST
  • I just gambled and won the cost of my souvenirs today. Bri just made $15.60! #vegas 10:48 PM EST 7:48 PM PST
  • Up $15.22 tonight already. Going fo more now. 12:10 AM EST 9:10 PM PST
  • Brian’s excersizing his prob and stat knowledge and is hitting it big in roulette! 1:22 AM EST 10:22 PM PST

Monday January 18, 2010

  • Rainy day in #LV. Off to get some food. Hoping my luck will change tonight. 1:10 PM EST 10:10 AM PST
  • Brian just won $1.40 playing Triple 7’s at Caesars. 3:28 PM EST 12:28 PM PST
  • Bought souvenirs. Just checked out the fountains at the #Bellagio. 6:09 PM EST 3:09 PM PST
  • Going to Mandalay Bay to check out the coral reef. 6:44 PM EST 3:44 PM PST
  • Having dinner at #PlanetHollywood in Caesar’s Mall. 8:17 PM EST 5:17 PM PST
  • Waiting for the fountains at the #Bellagio again. This time at night. Then off to the Monte Carlo. Frank Caliendo tonight! #frankcaliendo 9:20 PM EST 6:20 PM PST
  • Got upgraded on Frank Caliendo tickets! We’re now in the seventh row! Woo! #awesome #win 12:13 AM EST 9:13 PM PST
  • Just got our pictures taken with Frank cliendo! Woo! #anotherwin #awesome 2:01 AM EST 11:01 PM PST

Tuesday January 19, 2010

  • At the top of the Stratosphere! Ahhh! It’s really high! 2:41 PM EST 11:41 AM PST
  • Oh yeah. Three #Ravens fans now. Ran into another one on the Stratosphere. 3:17 PM EST 12:17 PM PST
  • Apparently our hotel hasn’t gotten out of the stone age yet. 1 800 numbers cost money when you dial them. #fail 4:58 PM EST 1:58 PM PST
  • Just had dinner. All you can eat pasta for $10. Now walking around the Adventuredome. It’s leaking because of the rain. 8:37 PM EST 5:37 PM PST
  • Going down stairs to #gamble. 10:59 PM EST 7:59 PM PST
  • Lost Brian in the #Casino. Can somebody put a fricken bell on him or something? 12:13 AM EST 9:13 PM PST

Wednesday January 20, 2010

  • People in the same boat as we. Trying to finish their beverages before check point. #airport 10:56 AM EST 7:56 AM PST
  • All checked in and waiting for boarding. Our flight is on time! Ready to go to #Detroit. Bye, #Vegas. 12:00 PM EST 9:00 AM PST
  • Just landed in #Detroit. Other flight leaves in like 20 minutes. May not make it. #DeltaFail 4:48 PM EST
  • Barely made it to our flight. I don’t think our bag will have the same luck. 5:01 PM EST
  • Finally landed at Reagan. Need to take #metro now. 6:35 PM EST

Feeding Candi

I’m really starting to take issue with people feeding my dog table scraps and treats. None of my friends do it, but my family does. My Aunt Ruth has always been bad with her, giving her numerous hot dogs. It’s not good for Candi.

My Aunt Janet said that’s what killed her dog, Emma, was people feeding her table scraps. She got obese and died early.

Candi is overweight as it is. I’ve always been a stickler for giving Candi table scraps. I only do it on rare occasions, and it’s always in small quantities.

My mother in law constantly gives Candi treats. Treat after treat. It’s pretty frustrating when I’m trying to keep Candi healthy and active. I’ve tried talking to her about it but there’s like no arguing with her. I just want to keep my dog.

Candi is going on 14 now. That’s pretty old for a dog. I want to keep her around for as long as it’s possible and she’s not in pain. I can’t help but feel sabotaged when Candi gets fed an abundance of treats and things that aren’t good for her.

Also there’s the fact that I don’t want to lose my dogs love. It’s clear anyone or anything would prefer the person giving them good stuff. With me, Candi doesn’t get many treats. It’s gotta be clear she prefers Brian’s mom.

I feel so helpless in this argument. How do I tell someone NOT to feed my dog, please?

2010 Resolutions

Here’s my list for 2010:

  • Get over feelings I have
  • See Aunt Ruth & Aunt Janet more (at least five times the entire year)
  • Eat less meat and find more things to eat that are vegetarian
  • Finish the garage (everything, including the driveway)
  • Get Candi off the cone (could be an impossible task)
  • Settle Dad’s estate
  • Fix the Camaro and paint it (January project)
  • *you know*
  • Ride the scooter to work
  • Host at least three parties
  • Snowboarding, master the bunny slope and be able to get off the lift without falling
  • Go see a general practitioner
  • Donate money to charity (donated over $150 in 2009)
  • Go on vacation and take more weekend breaks (Vegas in two weeks)
  • Get better at debating
  • Make more friends

Here’s a picture of my new scooter!

2009 Resolutions Update III

The last blog updates: 2009 Resolutions Update II and 2009 Resolutions Update I and 2009 Resolutions.

Since the year is almost over, let’s take a look at accomplishments on the resolutions I’ve set for myself:

  • Be more soft spoken, tone it down a bit and watch what I say (done)
  • Have more parties/go to more parties (I’m happy with my social life)
  • Don’t feel the need to say how I feel all the time
  • Get PHP certified (done)
  • Get at least 1,000 quotes next year (I did it with quotes to spare!)
  • See Aunt Ruth and Aunt Janet more (I see Aunt Ruth about once every two months, AJ a lot less)
  • Get over some things that bother me
  • Keep off the 10 pounds I just lost, be healthier and eat healthier (very happy with my weight)
  • Treat Brian and Candi better
  • Do something good for the environment or humanity (I donated money to a few causes this year, donated about $150)
  • Buy a house
  • Buy a new Prius
  • Get Candi off the cone (poor puppy) (she was doing really well, then she went after it, yet again)
  • Settle my Dad’s estate (not in my control) (next year?)
  • See a doctor and dentist (need to see a general practitioner)
  • Plant grass
  • Buy a grill
  • Buy a lawn mower
  • Build a garage (done, just need to do a few more things then I’ll blog about it)
  • Get insurance, tags, title for the Dodge Ram (done)
  • Get the Camero painted AND fixed (January project)
  • Have a house warming party (a successful party)

I did pretty good for this year. Let’s wait to see what I’ll come up with for next year.

Random Thoughts 12/10/09

  • Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize today after announcing the escalation of the war in Afghanistan… At least he’s donating the $1.4 million to charity.
  • Dennis Kucinich is trying to pull through a House Resolution to withdraw our troops from Pakistan and Afghanistan. I already wrote to my Congresswoman, Donna Edwards, asking her to support it.
  • Kucinich also made a great speech on the House floor how these wars are costing jobs stating “War is a weapon of mass destruction“.
  • On Hardball last night Alan Grayson would tell Dick Cheney to STFU. That was priceless.
  • Uganda is trying to push through an anti gay bill banning homosexuality. If suspected of homosexuality, people can face jail time and even death. Why isn’t this getting more traction on the news networks? The only person who seems to want to talk about it is Rachel Maddow. And our Republican leaders refuse to denounce it. Makes me sick.
  • I concluded that I’m no longer going to buy anything else that promises flight. I recently bought these UFO things off of Woot. They’re hard to control and need AA batteries to charge. This thing marks the third time I bought something that says it can fly. Maybe I’ll try it again when they come out with something that can plug into a WALL and not use AA batteries to charge.
  • As some know, I’ve changed my view on illegal immigration. I’m now more liberal. I still don’t think the people should come here illegally but we need to do something for the people who are here and DO pay taxes. I think we should harshly punish businesses for employing them, that may drive some of them away when they can’t find work.
  • I’m also for illegals having health insurance. Of course, after all our citizens have health care. Universal single payer health care has always been my view. Once we have that, anyone in this country should be entitled to it. I just don’t know how to debate it other than saying it’s the right thing to do and it should be considered a human right. I realize there are A LOT of problems with this stance. I don’t know what to say other than that’s how my heart feels.
  • Our company holiday party is this weekend. We didn’t have one last year. Should be a good time.
  • I don’t think the Ravens are going to make it to the playoffs this year. Sucks.

Another Victim Of The Health Insurance Industry, Me Part II

The other post I blogged about Another Victim Of The Health Insurance Industry, Me Part I still hasn’t been settled, but I’m just dealing with it. I guess my body got used to the forced medication from my health insurance company.

Another incident happened. This time with my ChoiceCare Card. Don’t let the name fool you, there is NO CHOICE.

I had signed a HIPAA Substantiation form which gives CareFirst the access to my medical records so they can pay the doctors without me having to fax them 3,973 things proving I went to the doctor… typical things insurance companies are supposed to automatically do.

I went to one doctor this year, one. My OBGYN… way back in August. In late October they emailed me and sent me a nasty gram saying they denied my claim. My copay of $30 to my ChoiceCare card. I was told by HR I can use my card to pay my copays. ChoiceCare card threw a fit.

After receiving the nasty gram, I talked to the HR about it. They told me what to do. Call my doctor, ask if they filed the claim, if so did it go through, and could they fax it to me. That was the easy part. I got the detailed patient log. The problem was getting in touch with them to fax it. I tried calling them before like 10 times, all the time being put on hold for periods of 15 minutes. I eventually gave up since I have other things to do (my fault since I have to make a living).

A few weeks later I received another nasty gram saying my card had been FROZEN. I tried to resolve the matter quickly, you know, in case something happens to me that I would actually need my health insurance. I called directly at 8:00AM. That seemed to get me to a representative pretty fast. They told me to fax it to them, so I did. I also emailed them later in the day to make sure it went through. No response.

I called earlier today to make sure they got everything they needed so I can have health insurance again. I was only on hold for 16 minutes! What a surprise! Anyway, they were able to unfreeze my card so I have health care again.

It’s a comfort to know in the event of an emergency, my health insurance company can freeze my card over a matter of $30… that of which they already had permission to view my claims.

Obama’s Afghanistan Surge Speech Prediction

If you haven’t heard, Obama is planning to implement a “surge” in Afghanistan. He’s going to announce his plan to send more than 30,000 additional troops (and who knows how many government contractors) to the war next Tuesday.

My prediction for Obama’s speech is another “Bush” like speech:

  • The war is necessary
  • We need to change the strategy in Afghanistan (meaning things remain the same)
  • Our security as a nation relies on it
  • This war is not open ended
  • This war is the “good war”
  • We want to hand responsibility to the Afghans ASAP
  • Benchmarks (that probably won’t matter nor will they be met)
  • How we plan to work with other nations to ensure a stable Afghanistan
  • We need to “finish the job”
  • The next few months (or years) will “demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve”

The speech will also NOT contain the following:

  • An exit strategy
  • A time line
  • How much more this war will cost
  • The goal
  • How much strain this war is putting on our already strained military
  • In what way this war is tied to our national security

This war is a drain. Obama is sending every other brigade left to Afghanistan leaving us with very few units. We need to cut our losses, end both wars, and send our troops home where they belong.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Congress and the president can be so willing to escalate a war with all the problems we’re facing here. We’re told we have to accept cutbacks on health care and our infrastructure in order to help balance the budget, yet every time there’s a war bill, Congress rubber stamps it. I don’t understand how we have to compromise on health care yet the wars have no compromise. They can be funded open endedly.

I wrote to my congressmen, Ben Cardin, asking him to help push HR 676 (Universal Single Payer Health Care for the US). He wrote back to me:

As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I firmly believe that any reform proposals we enact must be fully paid for, and the budget resolution passed by Congress requires that.

What about the wars, Senator?

Another Victim Of The Health Insurance Industry, Me Part I

I’ve been taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Low birth control since as long as I can remember. I started taking it probably in 1998 to help regulate things. In college, I didn’t have the privilege of having health insurance so I relied on Planned Parenthood to supply me and to give me my yearly check up.

Since I got a job, I’ve had CareFirst Blue Cross, which, up until a month ago has been pretty good. I was able to get the prescription with ease and it was cheap.

A few months ago I had to switch my plan since the POS plan got way too expensive. I switched to the cheaper plan. It required me to fill out a bunch of forms to do simple stuff that the POS used to do automatically (like paying the doctors). I now have this card I use.

The problem I’m having with them is that they changed my birth control on me. I order from Walgreen’s Online Pharmacy, so my prescription is shipped to me. My doctor prescribes me the name brand (Ortho Tri-Cyclen Low) since it’s what I’m used to and what I’ve been taking for years.

Being name brand is more expensive for my insurance company so they took it upon themselves to switch me to the generic version WITHOUT TELLING ME. It’s their policy that if there is a generic form of the prescription, they have to dispense it rather than the name brand.

Much to my surprise when I got my prescription in the mail, it was stuff I haven’t even heard of. I asked my doctor, I asked anyone I could think of who would know if this changed anything. They basically all said no.

However, I found out last month when I started taking it that it wasn’t the same. I got sick. It also didn’t have the same effect that the name brand had. I don’t want to be gross in a blog post, but let’s just say a lot of weird things happened.

Now I’m faced with… well… weird things still happening. I called my doctor. He’s going to try to talk to CareFirst to tell them to put me back on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Low… not that it should be their decision but that’s the kind of health care system we have in this country.

Halloween Lately?

I’ve noticed a lot of unenthusiasm for our upcoming holiday, Halloween. It’s pretty sad. I remember when I was a kid, all the neighborhoods would be well decorated in Halloween stuff. There were even a lot of really scary looking houses where the owners went all out.

My neighborhood, I’m sorry to say, isn’t like that at all. There are a few houses here and there that have a few Halloween decorations, but it was nothing like when I was a kid. There were some pretty awesome houses where people really went all out. My neighborhood is dry compared to what I remember.

Is it just my neighborhood? I’m pretty sure I live in a middle class area. There are lots of kids who play on the streets. I’m not in an old folks community or anything. (Although my one coworker lives near me and he is pretty old, OHHH, DISSSS!)

Is this happening in other neighborhoods? This lack of interest in Halloween?

I talked it over with Brian, since money is tight right now, next year I want to totally do up the entire house Halloween. Be one of those houses that everyone looks at, you know? My only hesitation is people stealing Halloween decorations (which honestly I’m not too worried about) and lack of children to enjoy it. I’m not sure how many trick or treaters I’ll get this year, but I want to be ready with lots of candy for them. I’ll be dressing up for Halloween to hand out candy. I plan to have a get together to watch scary movies and drink beer since it’s a Saturday night.

Halloween should be every kids favorite holiday (besides Christmas). It was such a happy time for me and I’d hate to see our society and people lose interest.